Prince Charles and his Mother agree to share the spoils of new Cornwall Gold Bonanza
The Queen and Charles agree to share spoils of new Cornish gold bonanza
By GLEN OWEN
PUBLISHED: 01:28, 15 September 2013 | UPDATED: 01:28, 15 September 2013
The Queen has struck a deal with Prince Charles to split the proceeds of gold reserves which have been discovered in Cornwall.
After prospectors found ‘commercial quantities’ of the precious metal, royal advisers have decided to resolve a centuries-old row between the Crown Estate and Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall over who has the right to the profits.
The deal came after businessmen reopened an old Cornish tin mine and concluded that there may be millions of pounds of gold there.
The Crown Estate, which until now has claimed proceeds from mining in the area, agreed to hand half of any profits to the Duchy.
But the deal has upset anti-monarchist campaigners, who said that while Crown Estate revenues go directly to the Treasury, the Duchy, which funds Charles’ activities, is exempt from corporation tax.
The gold was found at South Crofty mine, near Camborne, which was once the heart of Cornwall’s historic tin industry. It remained closed for nearly a decade until Western United Mines was granted permission to search for tin, copper, zinc and other metals in 2006.
Two years ago, the firm carried out tests on extracted material and found traces of gold.
Since 1568, the permission of the Crown Estate has been needed to remove gold from the so-called Mines Royal.
But because the 130,000-acre Duchy, created in 1337, also covers the mining area, dispute has raged for more than 400 years over who is entitled to the revenue.
Now, documents released under Freedom of Information rules have revealed that a deal has been struck.
A letter from David Harris, the Crown Estate’s deputy head of legal, to the Queen’s lawyers Farrer & Co last year, sets out the agreement that while the Crown Estate will continue to grant mining licences, including for gold, it will give ‘50 per cent of any revenue or capital receipts, net of costs, to the Duchy of Cornwall’.
The Crown Estate said the deal was still being formalised.